Drinking enough water is important for both people and horses alike, especially in the heat of the summer months. Just like their humans, though, horses often get dehydrated. Here are some handy tips to make sure your equine charges are getting the proper amount of water.
Tip #1: Clean, Fresh, and Always Available
There's an old saying that you water horses before cows, because cows will drink after a horse even though a horse won't drink after a cow. Put another way, if the water you're offering a horse doesn't look like something you would drink, chances are your horse is going to look askance at it too. That's why instead of just filling a bucket and leaving it, invest in a trough you can easily keep clean and ready for use. Given that a 1,000 pound horse should drink 8 to 10 gallons of water a day on average, this is a big concern.
Tip #2: Offer A Salty Treat
Sometimes you need to be sneaky in encouraging your horse to drink. Fortunately all you need to do is offer a treat like salt lick, or something with plenty of electrolytes in it. That should get your horse's thirst going, which will quickly lead to plenty of drinking if you've followed tip #1.
Tip #3: Give The Water Some Flavor
If you want to give your horse a treat, particularly if you've got a picky drinker on the trail, you can sweeten the water to turn it into a treat instead of a staple. Peppermint oil, Kool Aid, and even a dash of apple juice can all keep your mount perked up and interested in the next stop for a drink.
Tip #4: Wet Food
A trick often used by cat owners is get their furry charges to eat wet food in order to keep them hydrated. Horse owners can use the same trick by soaking hay flakes or cubes in water before feeding time. The food absorbs the extra water, and this can get as much as a gallon of extra water into your horse a day, which can make a big difference.
For more helpful hints on keeping your horses safe, healthy, and happy simply contact us today!